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       Martin Walker-Watson

          Pilgrim and former Buddhist monk, artist, metal-finisher and gilder, school teacher and instructor Martin has a diverse background in both the arts and the sciences, and with a broad range of skills and experience he specializes in the creation of Sacred Art.

          Martin graduated from the Asian Institute of Gemmological Sciences (Bangkok, Thailand) with his Accredited Gemmologist Diploma in 1982; and also from the Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A.) with diplomas in Jewelry Manufacturing Arts (California) in 1986, and Diamonds and Diamond Grading (NewYork) in 1995.


          Born in the UK, Martin travelled to India and Nepal in 1974 and for 8 years lived on Upper Dharamkot, a remote ridge above the town of Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh in the Indian Himalayas. Over the past 40 years he has studied Buddhist philosophy and Asian Religious Art, and practiced meditation with masters in both the Tibetan Nalanda Traditions and the Theravada.  His first meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other renowned teachers was in 1976 and received full monks ordination at the World Peace Pagoda in Rangoon, Burma in 1979 through the Buddha Sasana Council.

         After returning to lay-life and completing gemmological and jewellery training during the 1980's, Martin spent 10 years working for goldsmiths on the island of Grand Cayman in the British West Indies; designing custom-made jewellery, buying gems at source, jewellery appraising, retail jewellery store management, and wholesale and retail jewellery business software development. Martin specialised as a numismatic researcher and consultant, buying gold doubloons and other shipwrecked treasure from Caribbean salvage operations, as well as buying at auction ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins. Many of these coins were incorporated into one-of-a kind necklaces, earrings, pendants, rings and other jewellery pieces embellished with coloured gemstones and diamonds.

          In 1997, after 15 years working in the Jewellery trade, he was invited to assist with the gilding of the Dhamma Yaung Chi Ceti Pagoda in Sunshine, New South Wales, Australia; the following year with the gilding of the Dhamma Yaung Chi Ceti Pagoda in Westminster, Maryland, U.S.A.; and in 2000 the Dhamma Yaung Chi Ceti Pagoda at the International Meditation Centre near Klagenfurt, Austria.  These are all large stupas in the Burmese style and constructed as Meditation Pagodas. At each of the Pagodas all the domes were gilded, not only the large central dome but also 8 smaller domes as well as the crown/parasols and accompanying ornaments. The inside of the main domes were gilded as was the intricately wood-carved and lacquered Buddha thrones.


           Martin returned to the Himalayas in 1998 and set up the Gilding Arts Studio specialising in his main interest of Buddhist and Asian Art.

           Works include Buddha and Bodhisattva statues, stupas and pagodas, meditational accessories as well as ornaments for altars and decorations for temples in various Buddhist traditions.

            Martin currently lives between studios on Bruny Island, Australia and various cities around Asia; in Nepal, China, India, Laos and other pilgrimage sites and Buddhist centres around the world.

The Society of Gilders

Member of the Convocation of Jewellers

G.I.A. and A.I.G.S. Alumni Associations


2014   "Sacred Colours - Buddhist Art for the 21st Century".




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